Previously consigned to the shadow of his older brother, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, Eli became a hometown hero after leading the Giants to a stunning Superbowl triumph over the Patriots—twice.
The son of former NFL quarterback Archie and younger brother of Peyton, pigskin scion Eli attended his father's alma mater Ole Miss and was the top overall pick in the 2004 draft. Despite occasional flashes of brilliance, for the first few years Eli failed to live up to his pedigree or to his six-year, $54 million contract, proving unable to escort the Giants to a single playoff game victory. To make matters worse, his older brother won a Super Bowl in January 2007.
But in the 2007-8 season Eli finally demonstrated that the early hype surrounding him was merited, carrying the Giants to a respectable 10-6 regular season, and, of course, an instantly classic 17-14 victory over the Patriots at Super Bowl XLII. Manning's success has been mixed since that game, and he has borne the brunt of fickle New York fans with his trademark blank face. But in a surprising twist, the Giants eeked their way into the playoffs in 2011 only to squash sorry little Tom Brady in the Superbowl again. His efforts made Manning one of five quarterbacks to win multiple Superbowl MVPs, an achievement even his brother cannot boast.
After spending a few years enjoying his bachelor existence-famously he was on the receiving end of a Paris Hilton lap dance at Butter in 2006-he proposed to his college sweetheart Abby McGrew in March 2007 and they married in April 2008 in Los Cabos. The couple have a daughter. [Image via Getty]